Streetcar Video Came at a Cost — An Arlington County-produced video that makes the case for the planned Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar lines cost the county $3,400. Arlington officials greenlit the video because they “felt there was a general ‘lack of public awareness and education'” about the streetcar. [Washington Examiner]
Beef ‘O’ Brady Eyes Arlington — The Florida-based Beef ‘O’ Brady chain of sports bars/restaurants is apparently looking to open in Arlington. Arlington is a “key component to the company’s growth strategy in Virginia,” according to a press release. “While there’s definitely a market for Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in the Arlington market, we’re taking a careful approach to finding a franchise partner with business savvy, tenacity and a readiness to reinvest in the communities they serve,” said James Walker, Chief Development Officer of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, in a statement. “ [Restaurant News Release]
Donations Sought for USS Arlington Commissioning — The commissioning of the USS Arlington, a new Navy transport ship, is six months away. The USS Arlington Commissioning Committee is now seeking donations to help support the commissioning ceremony and to build a “tribute room” within the new ship. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
In a victory for Virginia’s congressional delegation, the Navy has announced that the USS Arlington will be commissioned at the Norfolk Naval Base.
Following word last week that ports outside of Virginia were being considered for the commissioning, the delegation wrote a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, saying that it would a “mistake” to commission the Arlington anywhere other than Commonwealth.
“We applaud the Navy’s responsiveness and decision to commission the USS Arlington in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” the delegation said in a statement today. “Commissioning the ship in Virginia is the appropriate way to honor the bravery and sacrifice of the thousands of local police officers, fire fighters, Pentagon employees, emergency first responders and all who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.”
The delegation includes Rep. Jim Moran, Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Mark Warner and other Virginia lawmakers.
Training Day — U.S. Navy Lt. Christine Flood, an Arlington native, trains Afghan National Army medics on basic nursing skills, infectious disease control and hospital trauma procedures at the Kandahar Regional Medical Hospital on June 5. [U.S. Army]
House Fire in Leeway-Overlee — A fire broke out in the back of a house on the 5500 block of 24th Street N. on Sunday afternoon, possibly due to a lightning strike. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze before it spread to other parts of the structure.
Streetcar Supporters Meet Tonight — The Northern Virginia Streetcar Coalition will meet tonight at Bangkok 54 (2919 Columbia Pike) to discuss “the development impacts of streetcar projects in the Washington-Metropolitan region,” including the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The discussion is being called “If you build it, they will come.” [Alexandria Times]
Crystal City BID Extended — The Crystal City Business Improvement District has been renewed. The BID, which sponsors events and performs other activities designed to boost the image of Crystal City while bringing more visitors to the neighborhood, was approaching the end of its original five-year sunset provision. The County Board voted to renew the BID in perpetuity, with a staff review in five years. The BID is funded by a tax surcharge on businesses within Crystal City. [Sun Gazette]
Military Man Becomes Priest — The Sun Gazette profiles Luke Dundon, one of the three new priests in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Dundon is a Bishop O’Connell and a Naval Academy graduate, as well as an avid marathoner. [Sun Gazette]
Military photo by Sgt. Richard Andrade
Rumor has it that the Navy may be thinking of holding the commissioning for the USS Arlington somewhere other than Virginia — and that has the state’s congressional delegation crying foul.
“We have been informed that the Navy is considering commissioning the USS Arlington at several ports outside of the Commonwealth,” the delegation wrote in a letter sent today to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “Given that the ship is named to honor the vital role Virginia played in responding to the attacks of September 11th, we believe it would be a mistake to commission the USS Arlington at any location outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
The bipartisan letter was signed by Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Mark Warner, Rep. Jim Moran, Rep. Frank Wolf, Rep. Eric Cantor and the rest of the Virginia delegation. Gov. Bob McDonnell has also been lobbying for the commissioning to be held in Norfolk, where the ship will be homeported.
The Arlington, an amphibious transport dock ship, was christened at the Northrop Grumman shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. in March. The USS New York, another San Antonio-class ship named following the Sept. 11th attacks, was commissioned in New York City in 2009.
Former Marine and convicted rapist Jorge Torrez is now accused of murder.
Federal prosecutors say Torrez is responsible for the 2009 death of Amanda Snell, a 20-year-old Navy intelligence specialist who was found dead in her Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall barracks two years ago.
Torrez is currently serving five consecutive life sentences for the abduction of two Arlington women and the abduction and brutal rape of another in February 2010. Arlington prosecutor Theo Stamos called Torrez a “predator” during his sentencing. Now he’s being charged with first degree murder in Snell’s death.
“Today, we are charging Jorge Torrez with murdering a young Navy Petty Officer in her barracks,” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. “This indictment is the result of extreme dedication by NCIS and the Arlington County Police Department to follow every lead possible to bring the person responsible for Amanda’s murder to justice.”
Snell’s mother told the Washington Examiner that she is hoping the case will provide some closure.
“I’m waiting until this is all over and I actually find out why,” Cynthia Snell told the paper.
Torrez has also been linked via DNA to a 2005 double homicide outside Chicago, but has yet to be charged in the case.